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BOSHERSTON LILY-PONDS
Excalibur in Pembrokeshire

This is South Welsh candidate for the watery home of the Lady of the Lake, from where King Arthur obtained his magical sword, Excalibur. It lies on the Pembrokeshire Coast, just three miles south of the county-town.  Bosherston Lily-Ponds are a single large three-fingered lake, once an arm of the sea, but now separated from it by a narrow strip of sand. A well-known natural beauty spot, it is currently in the care of the National Trust and is a very pleasant place for a stroll in the summer sun.

The major objection to the identification of the ponds with Excalibur's Lake is the fact that it was back to this lake that Bedwyr supposedly returned the sword soon after the fateful Battle of Camlann. Yet, Bosherston is nowhere near any of the known battle-site claimants. In its favour, however, is the fact that Caldey Island is not far away. This may possibly have been the original Isle of Avalon to which the wounded King Arthur was taken after the battle.

The area is also associated with a number of Knights of the Round Table and other famous Dark Age characters. Sir Gawain is said to have retired to a tint hermitage at St. Govan's Head, a mile to the south. While St. Pedrog (apparently one of the survivors of Camlann) founded the the church of St. Petrox, just to the north and where one parks in order to visit the ponds. Stackpole Elidor, at the tip of the eastern lake arm, has even been identified by some as the site of St. Samson's otherwise unlocated foundation in the desert-country on the Severn. They hamlet of Sampson sits just to the west. He was the son of King Arthur's foster-mother.

 

    Nash Ford Publishing 2001. All Rights Reserved.